Apple To Pull The Plug On iTunes

Published on June 1, 2019

After years of speculation about when Apple would lay its music platform, iTunes, to rest, the time has finally come. First confirmed by Rolling Stone, users began to notice that Apple was removing social media posts related to iTunes, signaling that the tech giant was gearing up to shut down iTunes once and for all. The company just had its annual World Wide Developers Conference where the announcement was made during the keynote at the event. Once iTunes is gone, Apple will replace it with three apps designated to connect its millions of worldwide users to music, television, and podcast content. Honestly, none of this is surprising, and since most of the world operates around streaming platforms today as-is, it was only a matter of time before iTunes was shut down once and for all. There is one demographic of people that are upset, though: DJ’s.

Laying The 2000’s To Rest Ahead Of 2020

iTunes isn’t the only music platform to see a sudden death in 2019. Back in March it was announced that MySpace, a popular music platform back in the early 2000’s up until now, had somehow lost over 12 years of its music database among millions of users. During a data migration process, the company failed to back up much of its database that held music uploaded to the platform. Despite the fact that the company lost a large portion of its user base around 2008 when Facebook began to overtake the social media market, many musicians and artists stayed on the platform because it was one of the only successful music platforms that also integrated social media. Today, its only real competition is SoundCloud, but even then few listeners have their own SoundCloud account if they’re not uploading their own music.

iTunes was at its prime around the same time because it was around the mid 2000’s that the iPod had really taken off as a household item. Apple had changed the music industry once and for all by offering a platform where users could browse through millions of songs and albums over a massive catalog of artists. At the time, it’s only real competition was the world of illegal downloading from sites like LimeWire and Pirate Bay, or—you know, going to buy the physical album itself. In the age of the internet, though, iTunes was lost in a sea of streaming services, and the rise of the streaming industry quickly dominated the music business in an attempt to stifle the illegal download industry once and for all. It worked—I mean, if you’re still downloaded music illegally in 2019 instead of just paying the $10/month to subscribe to Apple Music or Spotify, what are you doing?

Replacing iTunes

Apple will slowly pull the plug on iTunes over the next few months. The next move for the tech company is to replace the platform with three different apps that provide, essentially, the same service but on a different scale. This will solidify the company as a media provider in addition to a tech company, as it’s been trying to do for awhile now with the release of Apple News and a more in-depth Apple TV service.

Not to worry if you keep your giant library of music on the platform, though, some users have suggested that in order to keep your library all you have to do is avoid updating the app. Regardless, you should probably back those files up elsewhere, just in case.

Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

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